Spartanburg Community College announces speaker line-up for inaugural SCC Impact Celebration event

March 2, 2022

Spartanburg Community College is proud to announce that South Carolina State Representative Rita Allison, OneSpartanburg, Inc President and CEO Allen Smith, and former SCC student Ryan Collins will be the headline speakers for the inaugural SCC Impact Celebration, planned for the evening of Thursday March 17 at the Spartanburg Marriott from 5-8pm.

Formerly known as Economic Visionaries, SCC’s reimagined event features a new name, a new format, and new excitement spotlighting the impact of education on our local talent workforce and economic development. Through SCC Impact, we celebrate the power of our community partnerships with business and industry in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties, SCC’s impact in the lives of our students, the careers of our many successful graduates, and the immense economic impact generated by SCC’s innovative Spark Center.

“Spartanburg Community College serves as the unique driver for higher educational attainment and economic growth for the communities that we serve,” said Dr. Michael Mikota, President of SCC. “The lineup of speakers for SCC Impact represent the pillars upon which the College stands: students, careers, and community. It is both an honor and a privilege to showcase these important speakers as their voices will further enhance our unique capability to elevate the many voices, skills and dreams that reside in our communities and will drive the future growth and development of our region.”

Ryan Collins had the unique honor of becoming SCC’s first Technical Scholar with AWL Automation, LLC, a machine builder/systems integrator located in Spartanburg, SC, and headquartered in the Netherlands. Since graduating with honors from SCC in 2018, Mr. Collins has worked as both a Mechatronics Technician and a PLC Controls Engineer with AWL. Furthermore, in 2020 he was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Greater Upstate Manufacturing Sector Partnership—a platform for industry professionals in the area to collaborate on challenges facing manufacturing at all scales.

State Representative Rita Allison has represented House District 36 in the South Carolina State House from 1993-2002 and again from 2008 to the present. In 2003, Representative Allison became a trusted Education Advisor to then-Governor Mark Sanford and later served as the Governor’s Legislative Director. In the S.C. State House, she currently serves as the Chair of the House Education and Public Works Committee. Over her public service career, she has been recognized as the “Legislator of the Year” by the S.C. Victim’s Right Group, South Carolina School Board Association, S.C. Adult Education Association and the S.C. Vocational School Association for her work with each group.

From his work as President of OneSpartanburg, Inc, few have more intimately witnessed SCC’s impact on the local community than Allen Smith. Allen began his career as Town Clerk for the town of Bethel, NC following his graduation from East Carolina University. He subsequently served as Vice President of Operations and later Senior Vice President for the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce before taking on the role of President and CEO of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce in 2010. In 2014, Allen was named President and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which was rebranded as OneSpartanburg, Inc in September of 2020. OneSpartanburg, Inc’s mission is to build a vibrant Spartanburg through business, economic, and tourism development.

Click here to read more about our speakers and download their high resolution photos.

For more information on SCC Impact visit